Do you recall when you and your partner called it quits? For some people, their date of separation sticks out in their mind. Mainly because the decision to part ways resulted from a full-blown fight or your partner was unfaithful, or one of the parties moved out. Whatever your reason was to end things, you will always remember your separation date. Although you may not want to keep that memory intact, when it comes to filing for divorce, the date of separation is quite important to remember.
What Role does the Date of Separation Play?
Knowing the date of separation is important in order to:
- Ensure a proper division of property for assets acquired between the date of marriage and the date of separation
- Determine the length of time that either party may be entitled to receive or pay spousal support to the other.
1. Fair Division of Property & Debts
Equalization of property and debts depends on the date you separated from your partner. It can have a significant impact on the sum of money allotted to the partner during divorce settlements. There have been cases where the partner got more money due to the date they separated. The reverse for this is also true. The reason for getting more or less money is also due to the value of shares increasing or decreasing during the time of separation.
2. Support Payments
The law states that the partner needs to start paying support to their ex on the date they separated. Therefore, knowing your separation date will help disputing couples settle many arguments. What happens when the disputing partners clash on what the exact date of separation is? Look at the next heading to find out.
Figuring Out the Exact Date of Separation
It is helpful for your partner and you need to sit down, with a divorce mediator or your lawyers, to come to an agreed-upon date of separation. The questions that may arise to solve this issue are:
- Do you remember when you decided to separate?
- When did you tell your family and friends that you both are not living together or sleeping in separate rooms?
- When was the last time you had marital relations with your partner?
More questions to determine the date may be asked. If there is a disagreement between the parties as to the date of separation, that issue would otherwise have to be resolved first in your divorce case in order to be able to determine property division and long-term spousal support issues.
Gerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law lawyer and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.